When we owned our printing company, Fred did a brilliant thing that I still suggest to clients today.
A new division of our largest account at the time – Nordstrom – was sending their print files in a format that required a lot of time getting them prepared to go to go into our system for printing. As you can imagine, the arrival of a fresh file fostered keening and wailing from those charged with the task of making them print-friendly. Having heard the moans, Fred called a meeting and said, “Who’s the expert here? We receive files from customers and create printed products from what they give us. But do they know what we have to go through to make that happen? No. Do they know what would make it easier for us and for them, and therefore keep costs down? No. Not unless we tell them. We’re the experts, we’re the ones who know, so we’re the ones who need to educate them.”
He then talked to Nordstrom management about allowing our prepress expert to come to their business and put on file-prep tutorials for as many people as they wanted to send to them. She went armed with the knowledge of what would best suit our needs, but also with shortcuts and tips that they never would have considered had she not presented them. She spent a half a day in their offices. Our customer was impressed and grateful, and their files from that point forward passed through our system with little comment.
It’s a good thing to remember, no matter what your business: You’re the expert, and unless you expect your clients to learn the best and most efficient ways to place their orders via magic or osmosis, it’s up to you to educate them. Why moan and groan when you can be additive and proactive and make them smarter about what they do? It will pay off in more ways than one.
March 17, 2021